The president of HBO Entertainment is exiting the position and making a career change. Writing on Deadline.com, Nellie Andreeva reports that Sue Naegle will focus on producing and will launch her own company, which will have a three-year first-look deal with the pay-cable network.
HBO declined to comment on the story.
"This will mark a second career change for Naegle," Andreeva writes. "She was a top TV lit agent at UTA before she was tapped by Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo to succeed Carolyn Strauss as HBO’s top development executive in 2008 at a transitional time for the premium cable network, which had been struggling to find new hits post-’Sopranos’ and ‘Sex and the City.’ Naegle nurtured ‘True Blood,’ which she sold as an agent just before joining HBO, and was instrumental in bringing in such HBO series as mega-hit ‘Game of Thrones’ and the watercooler darling ‘Girls.’"
Rumors began circulating earlier in the summer about a possible exit for Naegle, who has a good relationship with both Plepler and Lombardo, Andreeva reports. "I hear she felt there was a significant overlap in the HBO executive suite, with President of Programming Lombardo also very hands-on in series development," the report notes.
Naegle reportedly began talks recently with Plepler and Lombardo in advance of next year’s expiration of her contract.
"I hear she expressed her concerns about continuing in her position, where she felt squeezed, and the three came up with the plan for her to stay on as a producer," Andreeva writes. "Naegle will segue into producing immediately. She is expected to hire another executive, with her development expected to be exclusive to HBO in the premium cable arena."
With Naegle’s exit, the channel may expand the duties of Senior VPs Casey Bloys and Michael Ellenberg, the report notes.